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Strong women celebrate ten years of MEDIA in Croatia


- The tenth anniversary of Croatia's MEDIA Desk was celebrated in Zagreb through panels on the state of the industry, populated exclusively by women

Strong women celebrate ten years of MEDIA in Croatia
l-r: Martina Petrović, Tamara Babun, Francine Raveney and Aviva Silver (© Nina Djurdjević)

Croatia's MEDIA Desk celebrated its tenth anniversary last week at the Zagreb Kaptol Boutique Cinema, under the title "Strong Women of the European Audiovisual Industry in Zagreb for the First Time", with a series of panels on various aspects of the European film industry. All the speakers were women - save for Daniel Rafaelić, head of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

The event was opened by welcome notes from Martina Petrović, the head of Croatia's MEDIA Desk, Croatian Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek and Rafaelic, and was followed by the first of five panels, "Shaping a Dynamic European Cultural Identity: Digital Single Market, Copyright Law and MEDIA — Challenges and Future". The panel was moderated by key speaker and film finance specialist Linda Beath, and included the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya GabrielLUX Film Prize coordinator Doris Pack, Laufey Guðjónsdóttir of the European Film Agency Directors and Obuljen Koržinek.

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The second panel, about gender equality and its importance in shaping a dynamic European cultural identity, started with a recommendation on the gender issue in the European audiovisual sector from EurimagesFrancine Raveney, and continued with a discussion that also featured Tamara Babun of the Croatian Producers' Association and Aviva Silver, former head of the MEDIA programme and now the CEO of Nea Cinema.

The following three panels focused on the importance of MEDIA in various aspects of the European audiovisual industry, and all were moderated by Petrovic. 

Kristina Trapp of EAVEBarbora Struss of MIDPOINTLeena Pasanen of DOK Leipzig and Matea Milić of Animafest Zagreb talked about festivals, training and markets; at the second event, EAVE group leader Roshanak Behesht NedjadMoe Honan of Ireland's Moetion FilmsAnkica Jurić Tilić of Croatia's Kinorama and Croatian filmmaker Katarina Zrinka Matijević debated the roles of the MEDIA development and production schemes as well as those in specific territories and from other pan-European funds. During the final panel of the day, the visibility of European cinema was discussed from the angles of promotion and cinemas, and sales and distribution, by Doris Bandhold of European Film Promotion (EFP), Croatian actress Zrinka Cvitešić (who took part in EFP's Shooting Stars in 2010), Slobodanka Mišković of Rijeka's independent cinema Art-Kino, Tine Klint of Level K and Vanja Andrijević of Croatia's biggest animation company, Bonobostudio.

Petrović, who has been running Croatia's MEDIA Desk since its inception while the country was still an EU candidate in 2008, said: “I am proud of the Croatian results – more accurately, of the total amount of nearly €6 million that the Croatian beneficiaries have managed to ensure through different open calls of the MEDIA sub-programme. Croatian applicants, competing with ‘big’ member states, have always been at the top of the scale given the total number of approved projects, or based on the total allocated funds, and every MEDIA call so far has had some Croatian beneficiaries, either as a partner or as an applicant. Finally, I would like to point out that the results achieved over these ten years are a reflection of the faith and hope in the success of Croatian cinema.”

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